Categories: technology, governance
What? A team from MIT has engineered a fridge-sized machine capable of manufacturing thousands of liquid doses of medication per day. The resulting products meet U.S. Pharmacopeia standards and include generic versions of Prozac, Benadryl, Valium and lidocaine. Having demonstrated a fully automated process for these four drugs, the team intends on expanding the list of drugs the process can produce.
So what? The machine could be used on the battlefield, during epidemics or natural disasters or on location at specialised medical centres. The small, portable, fully automated device could give new actors the capabilities of drug manufacturing; organised crime, D.I.Y. home-brew amateurs or disruptive start-ups. Pharma-in-a-box could undercut drug prices for off-patent medication priced far above production costs as new medication recipes become fully automated. There is also the potential of disrupting the patent system and breaking the funding model of pharmaceutical R&D.
Source: Health Day - Fridge-Sized Machine Makes Prescription Drugs 'On Demand'